Friday, November 13, 2009

Top 200 MLB Prospects for 2010: 26-50

Please click the following image to view prospects 26-50. Prospects 1-25 can be found in the previous post (immediately below this one).

Click the above Image to see Prospects 26-50.

26-30. Michael Taylor, the 6'6", 250 pound Stanford Alumnus and Reading left fielder tore apart the Eastern and International Leagues last year, especially early on, hitting .329 with a .549 slugging percentage, 20 bombs, 21 stolen bags in 428 at bats. His bat continued to develop, and his 53 extra base hits helped dispel any doubts that scouts had had about his power potential. At 6'5" and 250 pounds it's hard to believe there were any doubts to begin with. Taylor has plus speed and could steal 20 bases in the MLB. He has good range in left, but his arm is just adequate-- making him a good bet to be a left fielder, or even DH (if traded) in the MLB. Alcides Escobar had another nice year hitting .298 and stealing 42 bases in AAA Nashville before taking over for J.J. Hardy in the MLB and hitting at an even better clip-- batting .304 in 134 late summer plate appearances. His power and patience are both sub par and haven't seen much development, but because his platinum glove is considered the best in the minors he'll be one of the better all-around short stops in the NL. Marlins first base prospect Logan Morrison a third of the 2009 season with a broken wrist, but came back in an impressive way, posting an .854 OPS in 278 Southern League at bats. Possibly more impressive was Morrison's approach at the plate, walking 63 times vs. 46 strikeouts (1.37 BB/K rate). He hasn't shown any elite abilities, but his solid approach, decent glove, and his potential to have a plus bat and plus power keep make him an intriguing prospect. The Braves' Julio Teheran, a teenage string bean with a fireball fastball and a plus to plus-plus changeup, continued to wow scouts with his stuff. Through 43 innings for Danville, Teheran posted a K/BB ratio of 5.57 and an era of 2.68. He got roughed up a bit in single A in the second half of the season, but considering he's just 18, his performance was impressive. His mid 90s running fastball is fantastic, and his could be plus-plus when he reaches the MLB. Boston's 2008 draft pick, Ryan Westmoreland came roaring back from shoulder surgery and displayed his true 5-tool talent. In 233 at bats in the New York Penn League, Westmoreland posted an .885 OPS, smacked 15 doubles, 3 triples and 7 home runs, and stole 19 bases without being caught once. Although he DH'd for most of the year, once he recovers he could become the Red Sox version of Grady Sizemore in centerfield. His defense may end up being a tick below Sizemore's, but the other tools are there.

31-35. Jenrry Mejia continues to thrill the Mets with his 90-95 MPH fastball that features some of the best fastball movement in the minors. After dominating the Florida State League with a 1.97 era in 50 innings, Mejia posted solid numbers in AA for the remainder of the season. In 94 innings total Mejia gave up just two home runs. Because of his thin stature, and his lack of secondary stuff (although his curveball has plus potential), Mejia will probably start in the bullpen with the Mets. Casey Kelly, the Red Sox 2008 first round pick in the 2008 draft, showed that his future is in an MLB pitching rotation. Considered to be the most athletic pitcher in the minors, Kelly spent the first half of the season getting opposing batters to pound his sinking fastball into the ground and the second half making slick picks at short. Kelly controls his 88-93 mph two-seamer extremely well, and mixes in an MLB strikeout curve to whiff batters when he needs to. His 1.12 era in 47 innings with class A Greenville earned him a promotion to the Carolina League where he finished the season with a 3.09 era through 8 starts. Although his stuff won't make him a true ace, he has a very good chance at being a top tier 2-3 starter in the Red Sox rotation. Jhoulys Chacin continued his rise to the majors in 2009, finally making it in a brief stint as a reliever. After posting a nice season between the Texas and Pacific Coast Leagues, where he had 3.21 combined ERA, Chacin was called up to the majors. In his brief stint, J.C. showed that he still needs some work on his control (walking eleven batters in eleven innings). His 92-94 MPH fastball is impressive and his change has developed in to an MLB strikeout pitch. Aaron Crow The Nationals' first-round pick in the 2008 draft, and the Royals first pick in the 2009 draft, has loads of potential and likely has a future as a top tier MLB starter or a power closer/reliever. He controls all of his pitches well, and wields a 91-96 mph fastball (often toughing 97) and a plus to plus-plus slider. His changeup is still in development. Fernando Martinez has been cursed with developing too quickly, too early. New York expects a bit too much from the kid, too early on. Still just 21 years old, Martinez's fielding and speed have regressed a bit, but his bat projects to be a powerful one. In 176 at bats with AAA Binghampton, Martinez slugged .540, hitting 8 homers, 16 doubles and 2 triples.

36-40. The D'Backs' small-framed righty, Jarrod Parker will miss 2010 recovering from Tommy John surgery. Still, Parker projects to be a top notch pitcher, and his 2009 performance between A Advanced and AA supports everything scouts like about his stuff and approach. After T.J. surgery, Parker may have to scrap his high 80's slider, and stick to his plus curve, and newly developed change. Hitting for power, and drawing walks have made Tyler Flowers a top of the second-tier catching prospect. Although Flowers doesn't have the batting potential of Jesus Montero, or the defensive potential of Buster Posey, Flowers should be average behind the plate and plus in the box. Spending the season between the Southern and International Leagues in 2009, Flowers hit a combined .297 with 15 home runs, 28 doubles and 67 walks in 353 at bats. Aaron Hicks' best asset is his golden arm which is an easy 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. With that in mind, it has puzzled many scouts that the Twins have insisted on keeping Hicks in center field, rather than using his 97 mph heater on the mound. Despite his unimpressive 2009 stat line--.251/.353/.382 in the Midwest League, the kid has shown the tools to be a 20-20 player in the MLB some day, in the Adam Jones/Curtis Granderson mold. If all else fails he could be a fireballer out of the bullpen. Jordan Lyles, the Astros' second pick of the '08 draft added some cheese to his 88-93 mph fastball, and continued to refine his array of plus breaking pitches. Lyles' 6'4" frame, and long arms give his delivery "easy speed," making him a likely future MLB innings eater. In 144 innings in 2009 with Lexington, Lyles struck out 167 and posted a 3.24 era. Indians prospect Lonnie Chisenhall made the Futures Game with his impressive 2009 campaign in the Carolina League. Chisenhall hit 18 home runs and 26 doubles througout 388 at bats in the humid Carolina air. Although his defense isn't as impressive as his bat, the former short stop should be able to hold his own (with work) in the MLB.

41-50. Brett Wallace's elephant legs allow him to generate a controlled/balanced swing that could help guide him toward a .300 batting average and 20-30 homers in the MLB one day. Between two leagues, two organizations, and three teams in 2009, Wallace hit .293 with 20 homers and found a groove with Sacramento in the Pacific Coast League where he showed off his ability with an .870 OPS. His below average speed and range limit his fielding potential, but his strong arm and good hands should keep him at third for at least a few years before he inevitably moves to first. The Rockies' 2009 first rounder Tyler Matzek seems to have a bright future after his emergence at the 2008 Aflac game. The young lefty also features a 90-95 mph fastball, a plus curve, a developing change and a developing slider. His fluid, easy delivery, plus control and plus fastball make him a nice pick for the Rockies. Derek Norris the young Nationals catcher is the National's Minor League Player of the Year for 2009 and the Sally League's offensive MVP. His patience, above average power and bat, and developing defense have made him one of the top catching prospects in the minors. Although his league leading 28 past balls in 2009 were a blemish, his strong arm and solid movement behind the plate suggest that he has a future there. Reid Brignac has lost a bit on his bat, but has gained plenty on D'. All around, Brignac could be at the top of the AL in defense at short while hitting .280-.300 with 15-20 homers some day. The Indians' Hector Rondon shot all the way up to AAA in 2009 with his polished fastball. His lack of dependable secondary pitches could send him to the bullpen soon. Tanner Scheppers is a wild card due to his shoulder issues, but his 93-98 MPH electric fastball keeps his ceiling sky-high. His power breaking ball is also a plus offering. Third baseman Josh Vitters made the futures game in 2009 and has impressed his coaches and counterparts with his bat--easily the best in the Cubs' system and one of the best in the minors. His lack of plate discipline and poor work ethic have caused his stock to drop a bit, however. Michael Saunders, the Mariners' favorite Canadian outfield prospect, had a nice season after returning from labrum surgery. Saunders hit .310 with a .922 OPS in the Pacific Coast League in 2009, and has the range (above average speed) and arm to play center one day. His plus base running nicely rounds-out his game. Michael Montgomery, the Royals young lefty has the potential to wield three plus pitches with plus control. In 110 innings pitched in 2009, the 20 year old struck out 98 and gave up just one home run while posting a 2.21 era. Dodgers flamethrower Chris Withrow rounds out my top 50 with his 96 mph fastball. Withrow's numbers aren't particularly impressive (outside of his 10.9 K/9 in 2009) due to his control issues. His stuff is top-tier however.


Callis, Jim, Will Lingo, and Jim Shonerd. "Top Prospects by League." Baseball America Prospect Rankings. Baseball America, 1 Oct. 2010. Web. 1 Nov. 2010. .

Jaffe, Jay, Joe Sheehan, and Will Caroll. "PECOTA Card." Baseball Prospectus. Prospectus Entertainment Ventures, LLC. Web.

SABR Minor Leagues Database, Tom Tango, and Sean Smith. "Baseball Reference." Minor League Baseball History- Sports Reference LLC. Web.

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